Last week in Narrowsburg, NY, I took this photo from the street.
It captures one in a series of banners created by more than 100 residents with paint on canvas as part of the community "Art in Democracy" project facilitated by poet/organizer Laura Moran in conjunction with JoAnn Moran of rePublic Art.
Ten banners were created to adorn the streets, depicting visual representations of the contents of the US Constitution. I thought that this one was particularly appropriate for Hydrogen and Stupidity readers given our dominant themes.
"The We The People" banners reflect the community's desire to revisit the Constitution as a relevant, live document. Beyond, they sought to articulate its role through images of community and symbols of society.
Bill of Rights : Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
This is the crux of it, folks. Whether your pet issue is Intelligent Design, the Pledge of Allegiance, displaying the "Ten Commandments", or defining rights through inherently religious vocabulary - it is important for us to talk about this constant tension that stretches this document to the extent that tiny holes continue to appear- conduits for theocracy.
I do not begrudge anyone their religion or their spiritual path. I am not anti-affiliation or Deity X or Y. I am against that which violates the above, that which seeks to lay claim over my mind or my soul, via self-appointed authorities. Why not take a minute today and reflect on what the First Amendment means to you? How would you render its meaning for you, your family, your community?